Friday, October 30, 2009

My Story

The more reading I do the more I feel at odds with the terms I find.
The birth of my son was not "normal" or "natural". It seems that once I crossed over from vaginal childbirth to the other side I am alienated from all the things that I feel define me.

And I'll admit before I had a cesarean I had an idea about them that was formed by the media. I thought they were the easy way out. What else could the term "to posh to push" mean?
I pushed my first baby out- and it hurt, took over a day for him to be born, and it took just as much time to much time to sew me up as my cesarean did. I felt like a trouper that I had done it "all natural". I had no idea that the reality of being cut open to have a baby is certainly not easier, maybe a bit more predictable, but not easier.

To me there seem to be two camps, one driven by the "natural" side, advocating for vaginal births, home birthing options, midwifery care, and avoidance of medical interventions.
The other camp is the medical establishment with a "better safe then sorry" approach to childbirth and the use of modern interventions. This dichotomy has existed for hundreds of years and the fact that women have a choice at all has been hard fought. Midwifes have only legally been allowed to be primary birth attendants in B.C. for just over 10 years.

Before my cesarean, I knew where I belonged, I'm an all natural girl . Now I feel rejected by the natural side, like I lost the good fight. I failed to be a statistic that will help women get greater choices and more satisfying births. I'm now on the tallies of why we need medical interventions.

I often wonder why almost six months after my birthing experience I am still compelled to examine my experience. I know that there must be a reason, and as I listen to more stories of women in my community I feel that perhaps this purpose is to help bring more choices to families who have unplanned cesareans. There are so many little ways I feel the natural aspect of child birth were unnecessarily stripped away from me.

There are many books on repeat cesareans, vbacs, cesarean prevention and such, but I'm yet to find anything that addresses how to make unplanned cesareans better.

Maybe it's time to speak up and all us natural girls need to help each other find a new term.
"My natural cesarean?"


  1. You should look into Prof Fisk's work, one of the local obs in my area also uses his method. it's a Woman-Centred technique, and he uses it in unplanned Caesareans as well as electives.

    Karen (Scotland)

  2. I think women should have the option to have a repeat cesarean or VBAC, but I think that should only be after informed consent, which I don't think a lot of women receive. They are typically told the risks of VBAC and the benefits of repeat cesarean. However, the benefits of VBAC and the risks of repeat cesareans are rarely mentioned and if they are, it's more of a side note to the dangerous VBAC and the easy/convenient (for the OB) cesarean. I talk about informed consent vs. scare tactics here: Joni Nichols gave an excellent presentation at the 2009 ICAN conference entitled "Respectful Cesarean" which was very moving. I don't know if it's available on the ICAN website or if she will be giving it at other conferences, but I think it has a lot of the information you are looking for.


    Jen from

  3. It's been a while since I wrote this post and re reading it I wanted to clarify that I much preferred my vaginal birth to my cesarean. The vaginal delivery description I gave here is not all that positive. Now I think this was in response to all the people who said to me after my cesarean that it "had not met my expectations". This post was during this time when I was thinking a lot about the fact I believed that I didn't have crazy expectations. I knew it would be very hard work, that it would hurt and such. I just never thought I would be operated on. If I ever birth more children (not my plan) I will absolutely go for a VBAC.